Hello. Welcome to Penn. Over the next four years, you will play a series of games. Get through all six successfully, and you will marry the man, woman, or nonbinary sweetheart of your Ivy League fantasies — or at least get the job of your dreams. Failure at any one game, though, will cause you to be eliminated.
Remember, if you follow the rules, you can leave this place safely with the money or marriage we promised. However, any player who refuses to play will also be eliminated.
These games will become brutal. You will become callous. But in the end, you’ll keep dragging yourself back to have your heart spilled on an open table in some dirty frat basement, cut open by some pre-med student who may never become a real doctor.
But, since you made it here, you probably want the rules. Here is a quick synopsis of each game:
Game 1: Red Flag, Green Flag
Welcome to the first game. You are allowed to move forward when ‘it’ screams out (via texts, awkward glances from along Locust Walk, chance encounters at events, etc.), “Green Light.” Stop when ‘it’ shouts (via emotional unavailability, finance-induced callousness, and an aversion to “low-ROI people”) “Red Light.” If your movement is detected afterward, you will be eliminated.
Tip: Remember, only advance toward “it” when it says “Green Light.” If you so much as linger for a few seconds after a date, or if you lunge in for a hug or kiss when “it” was clearly just looking for someone to keep them company at Panera before a casing interview, you will be eliminated.
Game 2: Honeycomb
You’ll start by picking a shape. You can choose either the Button, a red solo cup, Huntsman Hall, or the Tampons.
Wherever you picked is the object that you must be near while French kissing your chosen partner. Failure to kiss them at all will result in elimination.
(Game tip: the Tampons are the hardest location to win within this game. The Button is ideal due to its history; if you pick Huntsman Hall, your best bet would be to try to reserve a GSR, turn off the lights, and kiss them there.
Game 3: Text of War
In this game, players must use the power of the law of attraction to try to get the opposing player to text back first. Whoever ends up texting back anything emotionally incriminating or vulnerable will be eliminated.
Game 4: Marbles
Just kidding. If you’ve been playing these games long enough, you’ve already lost them all. There are very few gganbu here, and if you leave your marbles out in the open, they will be replaced by stone-cold pebbles. Seriously. Watch your sanity and watch out for any old guys trying to be your gganbu. The only old man you should play with is Ben Franklin — a true BF.
Game 5: Get Across Glass
In this game, you’ll need to walk across Locust without tripping, not even once. Even in the areas where there’s been some construction, falling on one of the bricks as though it’s fallen underneath you is a sure sign that you don’t have the physical stamina required for either a long-term relationship or full-time job.
Game 6: Snake Game
This is the final and most challenging game. You’ll need a bit of history for what this game is, though, before you proceed.
In my town, we had a game called the “Snake Game.” We called it that because it’s played in a snake-shaped mound on Cira Green that emerges only after final McKinsey rounds are released. The rules are simple. Students are divided into two groups, the offense and the defense. Once the game starts, the defense can run around on two feet within bounds, while the offense outside the lines is only allowed to slither on their stomach. But if an attacker gets into the snake passing defense, then they are given the freedom to get up off the ground and walk around like a real human. VP of human resources. For whatever reason, we called that the VP of human resources, maybe it’s because it was so good at acting like the other side while originally being only able to slither. In order to win, the attackers must tap the small closed-off space on the snake’s head with their CV. But if someone on the defense manages to push you outside the snake’s endless network, you lose all your LinkedIn connections, faculty recommenders, and your life. Once you tap the snake’s head, you win and yell out, “Victory!”